AQA GCSE Computer Science (8520)

This course covers the topics found in the AQA GCSE Computer Science syllabus, but is not endorsed by AQA. Please refer to the exam board specification to ensure that the full range of topics has been covered.

To access the course material, please click on the link to each section.

Paper 1 - Computational Thinking & Problem Solving

The Computer systems exam covers the programming theory topics. The NEA aspect of the course covers much of this, but you will be required to describe the design and development of programs in writing.

This is a 1.5 hour written paper that includes multiple choice, short answer, and longer answer questions.

Paper 2 - Written Assessment

The Computational Thinking exam covers the non-programming theory topics.

This is a 1.5 hour written paper that includes multiple choice, short answer, and longer answer questions.

  • Benefits of a Network
  • Types of Network
  • Network Topologies
  • Common Network Protocols
  • Network Security
  • TCP/IP Model
  • Cyber Security Threats
  • Social Engineering
  • Malicious Code
  • Methods to Detect & Prevent Cyber Security Threats

NEA - Non-Examined Assessment

The NEA for the GCSE is a programming project that takes place over 20 hours.

Due to issues of plagiarism in 2017, the credit for this part of the course was removed however you will still be expected to complete and submit this work as part of your course. Whilst credit is not awarded, this forms a fundamental part of your revision for Paper 1.

This section is intended to be covered through the NEA, but you will be asked to answer questions about the theory of these techniques in your exam.

  • Software Design
  • Implementation of Algorithms
  • Testing of Code
  • Evaluation / Refining of Code
  • Use of Variables, Constants, Inputs, Outputs, & Assignment
  • Programming Constructs (Sequence, Selection, & Iteration)
  • String Manipulation
  • File Handling Operations
  • Use of Records
  • Use of Arrays
  • Use of Subroutines (procedures & functions)
  • Use of Data Types
  • Common Arithmetic Operators
  • Common Boolean Operators